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One of the joys of being on board a ship in the middle of an ocean is the almost complete lack of background light at night,  which means that should the sky be clear the views of the celestial sky are stunning.  The main mast on the ship has a single lamp of about 40W and that tends to be the only distraction,  certainly not enough to spoil the Milky Way and the vast numbers of stars.  Sadly it is too difficult to capture on film due to the motion of the ship causing everything to blur.  In addition with the evening temperature now up in the 20s,  it is very pleasant to just stand outside enjoying fresh air and great sights.

My morning routine is to have a walk out on deck before breakfast and this morning I was met with a rainbow just aft of the James Clark Ross,  with a nice clear sky behind. 

As the James Clark Ross heads towards Recife and the collection of the scientists for the cruise around Ascension Island,  it is an ideal time for all on board to catch up on outside maintenance work.  With fine weather and no science just now to get in the way,  there is a lot of activity out on deck.  A ship takes a lot of looking after!

Looking down the starboard side of the ship this afternoon.  The weather has steadily improved and we still have the wind and the sea from behind,  ensuring a comfortable ride.  The sun has been out throughout the day and the air temperature is slowly increasing.

Whilst we don't have any scientists with us just now,  Andy has remained on board from the last cruise as the IT expert  and will be with us until the Cape Verde Islands.  Here Andy is giving the on board drone some fresh air!

On board also with us is our lovely Doctor,  Helen,  who joined the ship in Immingham last year and has been with the ship ever since.  She has been writing and excellent blog from on board,  which can be found HERE.  Here latest update talks of cannibals!

As the JCR is following the South American coastline it means that there is a lot of shipping traffic to be seen.  We have passed close to some oil fields and our Automatic Identification System (AIS) has shown large numbers of support vessels.  This is the Limar,  205m in length (information provided by the AIS) and heading for Argentina.

At lunchtime the JCR was only about 150m from Rio de Janeiro,  a port that the ship has been to a number of times over the years.  When I first visited the port on the RRS Bransfield in 1990 a local lighthouse beacon was used to calibrate the MF direction finder,  equipment that is no longer carried on ships.

Taken just before sunset this shows how nice it is for us.  I hope that we will have a fairly clear sky once again this evening and if so I will be outside enjoying the view.

Sunset this evening.

Navmet screenshot

The Daily menu

Noon Position Report

Latitude: 24 04 S
Longitude: 40 40 W
Bearing: 117 T, 150 Nm from Rio de Janeiro
Course Made Good 037 T
(1) Destination 1: Recife
(1) ETA at 11.0 knots is 12:00 on 19 May 2017
(2) Destination 2: Recife
(2) ETA at 7.7 knots is 06:00 on 21 May 2017
Distance Travelled: 266
Total Distance Travelled: 1064
Steam Time: 24
Total Steam Time: 92.8
Average Speed: 11
Total Average Speed: 11.5
Wind: Direction SW, Force 4
Sea State: Slight
Air Temp: 26.3 C Sea Temp: 25.3 C
Pressure: 1014.3 Tendency (3 hrs): Falling


Previous updates from this trip

Mike Gloistein
gm0hcq @ gm0hcq.com